Happy New Year from The Gorge!

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beginner’s banana bread

November 17, 2011

It’s a sad day when good fruit goes bad.  Except for bananas.  When they turn all brown on the outside and smushy on the inside they transform into super bananas!  Pop a few into a freezer bag and they make the perfect basis for your next breakfast smoothie.  Or prepare this totally easy recipe for a warm treat great for any breakfast or snack time.

Banana Bread Ingredients

  • 1-3/4 cup flour
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup ripe bananas, smashed (2-3 medium bananas)
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup chopped nuts

Preheat oven to 350°.

Oh oh oooh, oh oh ooh, oh oh oooh, The White Stuff.  Whisk it together (sugar, baking powder baking soda, salt and 1 cup of flour) in a large bowl.

*Glorp*  Smashed frozen ripe bananas isn’t exactly the most attractive  substance on the planet, but think about what deliciousness this ooze turns intos!   Add smashed bananas, butter and milk.  Beat with a mixer on low speed until blended, then on high speed for a couple minutes longer.

Add eggs and remaining flour, beat until blended.

Get a little nuts!  Then fold them into the batter.

Whoa.  It’s getting majestic in here.  Pour batter into greased loaf pan (8x4x2).

Bake for 55-60 minutes or until a centrally stabbed toothpick removes clean.

Cool for 10 minutes.  Remove from loaf plan and cool thoroughly.  Wrap and store overnight before slicing.  Use this time to think about all the delicious ways you can eat your homemade banana bread.

With melty Nutella!

Or creamy cream cheese, sprinkled with brown sugar and cinnamon!

And if there was any left I would have attempted more options.  Like french toast.  Or – holy wow – can you imagine BANANA bread pudding!  Wowzers, time to start collecting hyper-ripe bananas for the next loaf.

welcome back, blog

October 2, 2011

Sorry.  I have been missing in action for the past couple of months.  It simply became too hot in my studio kitchen to warrant any additional heat.  I had to move the chocolate from the cupboard into my fridge because everything was melting.

i'm melting

Including myself.  And so I went out, where I enjoyed things that I can finally share because I can now comfortably concentrate at a heat-emitting device in my own home.

mocha sundae

I ate a lot of ice cream this summer.  Like this amazing mocha sundae, cappuccino ice cream with chocolate sauce and topped with chocolate covered espresso beans.  It was a good way to keep my internal temperature down, or so I told myself.

bloody mary friend

I made sure to stay hydrated.  I met friends for drinks and made friends in drinks, like this friend I found at the bottom of my Bloody Mary.

mason jar mojito

And this mason jar Mojito at Moonshine.

gin and tonic

And this gin and tonic at Archies.

raspberry crown

After late nights out, there is nothing so wonderful as a big brunch by the light of day featuring seasonal fruit.  Peach and raspberry pancakes with almonds and house made amaretto churned butter at Nookies Too.

burger

There was plenty of room for backyard barbeques, including the amazing discovery that basil becomes a fantastic lettuce replacement on a burger when the herb is so rich and leafy in the summertime.

blueberries

I could not get enough blueberries this summer.

handy helpers

I even went on an adventure to Michigan and enlisted the help of my three-year-old twin niece and nephew to pick wild blueberries that are infinity times better than anything I’ve ever found in a grocery store.  While my nephew found the bucket an interfering step from branch to mouth, my niece successfully picked a half pound of the good “purple” blueberries and none of the yucky pink or green blueberries.

blueberry margarita

And that very evening, with a couple of fine ladies, we turned a couple pounds of those teeny blueberries into totally healthful margaritas.  Cheers!

Thanks for sticking around in my absence!  I am back from this break with my kitchen and excited to get to work baking, shooting and writing about the fun and delicious things I come across!

bacon and egg cupcakes

July 22, 2011

Although not technically a cupcake in the traditional sense, these bacon wrapped eggs from Recipe Cards are a cute and impressive addition to any brunch spread – not to mention a total breeze to make using minimal ingredients and taking less than 20 minutes to whip together!

So many wonderful recipes are written to make enormous batches, leaving a lot of lonely leftovers.  These fantastic little “cupcakes” are made individually so you only have to make exactly how many you want right now; for your family, your breakfast-for-dinner party, or just you.

Bacon and Egg Cupcakes Ingredients

  • eggs (one per cupcake)
  • bacon (approximately 1 1/2 strips per cupcake)
  • cheese (shredded or crumbled – use your favorite, mine is cheddar jack)
  • chopped herbs (thyme, chives, rosemary, dill – anything you like, I like basil)
  • salt and pepper (pinches each, per cupcake)
Preheat oven to 400°.

Cook bacon until browned, but not crispy.

In a greased muffin tin, line a muffin cup with a full strip of bacon.  In this “cupcake” the bacon acts as the liner – holding the delicious goods all together with no need to peel off and discard, just eat it right up!

Tear about half a strip of bacon into little bits and fill the bottom of the muffin tin.

Crack an egg into each tasty bacon cup.

Season with salt and pepper.  While you’re at it, take a moment to appreciate the song styling of Salt-N-Pepa.

Fill each cup with cheese and sprinkle with herbs.

Cook for 10-15 minutes (mine were good around the 12 minute mark).

Remove from oven and allow to cool for a minute or two.  Two of these self-contained breakfast vessels make for one sturdy serving.

Serve with sliced tomato, fresh fruit, home fries, Bloody Marys and you’ve got another delightful reason to get out of bed on a Sunday!

And if this wasn’t easy enough to follow, check out this beautiful video from Recipe Cards: